The trade body that represents the UK's car manufacturing and dealership sectors has jointly agreed to help recycle nearly three quarters of a million vehicles that have reached the end of the road, and at no cost to drivers.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has partnered with recycling company Autogreen to deal with those cars and vans weighting up to 3.5 tonnes that have reached the end of their useful lives.
The End of Life Directive requires that all such vehicles are disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way, but while manufacturers offer to do this for free some motorists can face problems if the brand is no longer trading and has no parent company – known as an ‘orphan vehicle'.
The SMMT said its scheme would help responsibly recycle an estimated 700,000 ‘orphan vehicles' still being driven on UK roads.
It would be especially valuable to owners of such vehicles living in remote parts of the UK where recycling facilities were hard to find, the trade body added.
At least 95% of old vehicles has to be recycled by manufacturers and the SMMT said that less than 2% of waste from vehicle manufacturing plants went to landfill in 2014, versus 25% a decade earlier.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said the partnership was further evidence of how seriously UK car manufacturers took the issue of environmental responsibility.
“The industry has a strong record, not just on recycling, but on emissions, energy and water usage reduction as a result of huge investments into innovative technologies, production processes and facilities.
“Thanks to this latest initiative, every motorist in Britain can now be assured that when their vehicle reaches the end of its life it will be disposed of in a way that is not just ecologically sound, but cost-free – no matter where they live,” he added.